[Trendpaper] Mobile World Congress – Highlights 2019

At this year's MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona, Europe's largest mobile communications fair with more than 2,400 vendors, everything revolved around 5G. Together with the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data, the new network generation formed the basis for this year's motto: Intelligent Connectivity. As every year, mm1 presents the most important trends and results.

 However, 5G was not a topic exclusive for network operators. Also, the manufacturers of smartphones and car manufacturers have brought their 5G concepts with them to Barcelona. In general, it can be observed that the topic of mobility is increasingly moving into the focus of the trade fair.

1. New Generation Network & Connectivity: After the industry has warmed up in the past two years, 2019 is all about the next mobile generation and the necessary technologies. Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, as well as many other vendors, were present with interesting and engaging 5G showcases. Additionally, the two operators take the first 5G networks in Barcelona (Vodafone) and Berlin (Telekom) online. The infrastructure providers Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia show a lot of technology for the mobile networks of tomorrow. The focus was on the new WIFI 6 standard, private LTE networks, and innovations around faster deployment of networks.

2. Mobile Devices & Smart Gadgets: In a nutshell, 5G-enabled smartphones, foldable and infinity displays, as well as a growing number of lenses are some highlights at this year’s MWC. Manufacturers were able to surprise with other innovation than bigger screens and more cameras. As mobile operators have only just begun to equip networks with 5G capabilities, forecasts for the delivery of 5G-enabled smartphones suggest that they will still be the minority. Continuing the trend of MWC 2018, Wearables were only with few new introductions. The same applied to the Smart Living segment where no innovation caught the eye.

3. Smart Mobility: While BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Seat were already present in previous years, Ford and VW celebrated their debut this year. The topic of intelligent mobility was formed around new technologies and innovations from various areas. Central topics were strategic openings for new forms of cooperation as well as new platforms and solutions for mobility offers.

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